St Saviours 2-10; Roanmore 0-8
St Saviours qualified for the semi-finals of the Eastern Under 21 A hurling championship thanks to a resounding eight-point victory over Roanmore at Walsh Park on the May bank holiday Monday.
Inspired by the excellent Adam Brophy at centre-forward, St Saviours turned on the style in the second half to pull away from a dogged Roanmore side.
Roanmore were forced to start without star forward Shane Nolan who was only deemed fit enough to start on the bench.
Despite the loss of Nolan, Roanmore began well and were two points up within seven minutes – both coming from the other Nolan, Brian, courtesy of two frees.
St Saviours got off the mark in the 10th minute when Adam Brophy scored a free.
Two minutes later, Roanmore were given a glorious opportunity to extend their lead, Corner-forward Tim O’Byrne rounded Sean Quinn before rifling a shot towards goal. The shot was well saved by Martin English and the resulting rebound fell to Stephen Vereker. Unfortunately for Roanmore, Vereker missed his shot with the goal at his mercy and the chance was spurned.
Roanmore did manage to extend their lead through another free from Brian Nolan and a point from play from midfielder Darragh Brennan.
St Saviours were struggling at this stage but got back in to it in the closing stages of the half through two more frees form Adam Brophy.
Roanmore got the final point of the half when full-forward David Barrett took a short free to centre-forward Darragh Swaby. Swaby went for a goal but his shot was too high and sailed over the bar for his side’s fifth point. Seconds later, referee Noel Carroll blew the half time whistle with Roanmore leading by 0-5 to 0-3.
Roanmore’s precarious lead was wiped out within two minutes of the restart when Adam Brophy, first from a free and then from play, hit two points.
A superb long-range score from hard working midfielder Darren Tuohy put St Saviours into the lead for the first time on 33 minutes. Corner-forward Daniel Duggan extended St Saviours’ advantage three minutes later as Roanmore were forced to spring Shane Nolan from the bench.
The Nolan twins, brothers of Preston North End soccer star Eddie, were responsible for the next two points as Roanmore attempted to keep in touch with their city rivals. In fact, Brian’s free in the 41st minutes levelled the scores at seven points apiece.
The game swung in favour of St Saviours in the 43rd minute when full-forward Ian Power bundled the sliotar over the line following a mistake by Roanmore goalkeeper Seamus Burns. Adam Brophy added a point from play before Ian Power struck for his second goal of the game in the 45th minute.
Once again, Brophy followed up with a point.
Try as they might, Roanmore could not break through the St Saviours defence for a goal and had to be content with a 65 scored by Brian Nolan.
As the game ticked into injury time, Adam Brophy closed the scoring with an excellent point from play.
St Saviours will now go on to play Passage in the semi-final on May 17th. If they are to win this game they will need the likes of Peter Crowley, Kieran Murphy, Adam Brophy and two-goal hero Ian Power firing on all cylinders.
Roanmore will be disappointed to have exited the championship at this juncture; however, they could not fault the efforts of Frank McGrath, Brian Nolan or David Barrett on this occasion.
*In the semi-finals at Walsh Park on Sunday, 17th May, St Saviours will play Passage (winners against Mt Sion in the quarters last month) and Ballygunner take on De La Salle (who each received byes).
St Saviours: M English, S Quinn, P Crowley, A Foskin, D Crowley, K Murphy, M O’Brien, D Tuohy, C O’Neill, K Dolan, A Brophy, L Kelly, D Duggan, I Power, G McGrath. Subs: B Quinn for G McGrath, J Cassidy for A Quinn. Scorers: A Brophy 0-8 (0-4f) I Power 2-0, D Duggan 0-1, D Tuohy 0-1.
Roanmore: S Burns, K Finn, D Thomas, N Coady, D Phelan, F McGrath, C Dempsey, B Nolan, D Brennan, J Grant, D Swaby, G Daniels, T O’Byrne, D Barrett, S Vereker. Subs: S Nolan for G Daniels, J Caffrey for S Vereker.